What Is Redaction and Why Is It Important?

What Is Redaction and Why Is It Important?

As we have mentioned in our previous blog posts, the editing process may include many different stages. In this article, we will go over one of the most important of these: Redaction.

Redaction, apart from its close relation with publishing, can be described as a special form of editing. It can sometimes include combining, altering, and even censoring any form of text in order to prepare it for publication. Since this process involves an in-depth analysis of the text it is closely similar to translation and it should be carried out with utmost caution in order to avoid plagiarism, sharing confidential information or publishing a text that will make you wish you did not.

Differences From Editing and Reviewing

Although the difference between these three is huge, it is not always that clear to see for some. Since we have already explained redaction, let’s start with editing. Editing, which is a similar process to proofreading, involves the whole process of modification ranging from correction to rearrangement. The main purpose of editing is to make the final product more suitable for the purpose behind its creation. Additionally, it has a wider range of activities compared to the other two since we can talk about editing pdf, editing videos, and everything in between.

Now, let’s continue with reviewing. Reviewing is the process of assessment of various products. Review of a movie, of a book, or even of a restaurant, are only a few examples we come across in our daily lives. Just like these examples, reviewing in translation does not include editing or changing the final product and it may serve as a rather informative basis for such modifications.

In translation, these terms can be hard to distinguish from each other, mainly because all of them take place after translation is completed. In other areas, it is possible to create a product with redaction alone; meaning it can take place before the final stage which is not possible for editing or reviewing.

Why Is Redaction Important?

Let’s go over a few examples that show the importance of redaction clearly to understand why it is a crucial activity. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice carried out an investigation on interferences in Presidential Election. And in 2019, the documents were published. There was a lot of information ranging from investigative techniques to jury names in these documents,  If it was not for the redaction of the documents, this confidential information would be shared with the public. All the names, investigative techniques, and other personal information would be exposed.

This was an example of its importance in legal texts, but what about other kinds of texts? In most cases, published texts will end up with a lot of errors without redaction. Texts such as theses or scientific papers may even end up getting rejected because of such errors.

Now that we have covered its importance, let’s take a look at how to do it correctly. It would be impossible to list a few steps to cover the process altogether since just like translation itself, redaction also takes a new shape with each new text. But there are a few key points that require to be paid close attention to. Spelling mistakes and grammar errors are on top of these key points and style and tone adjustments come right after them. If confidentiality is the top priority, then censoring comes way before any of these.

When to Use Redaction?

As we mentioned earlier, redaction is a must for every text written to be published. Aside from texts, even some videos and voice recordings require to be redacted before published. Such tasks usually take more time to be completed, unlike redaction of pdf and Word files. But there is AI-based software developed to help with the redaction of audiovisual files.

Hopefully, this article helped you to quench your thirst to learn about this essential and complicated process. Reach out to us if you have any further questions regarding the matter!

We all understand from this research that a poorly done redaction can end in horrible scenarios such as leaking of private information to the public. Even in most harmless cases, it can still damage the credibility of a publishing agent indefinitely if the published material is not up to the standards. Thus, it is vital to find a good language services provider for such a task. Luckily, Protranslate provides redaction services for everyone around the world with utmost care about the purpose of publication. Protranslate is always here to help clients with the sort of documents they want.


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